Member Biography

William Hiester 


Portrait: “William Hiester,” Lancaster County Historical Society Journal, V. 69, 1965, p. 79: The portrait is otherwise identified as John Wilkes Kittera, attorney and Congressman from Lancaster County.

Sessions Office Position District Party
1841     Speaker 6 Anti-Mason
1842       6 Anti-Mason
1843     Speaker 6 Anti-Mason

COUNTIES: York, Lancaster  


10/10/1790 - 10/13/1853

William Hiester, Jr., (Anti-Mason6) Lancaster, York Counties 1841-1843

Early Life:

William Hiester, Jr., born October 10, 1790, Berne Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, son of William Hiester, Sr. and Anna Maria Myer; common school education; engaged, farming, merchandising; married, Lucy Ellmaker Hiester, 1821, son, Isaac Ellmaker Hiester; Lancaster County Justice of the Peace, 1823-28; unsuccessful Congressional Campaign Anti-Masonic Convention, 1828; elected, Secretary, State Caucus, Anti-Masonic Convention, 1828; elected, Anti-Masonic, United States House of Representatives, 1831-1837;Delegate, Pennsylvania State Constitutional Convention, 1837; Pennsylvania State Senate, 6th District, 1841-1843; elected Speaker Pennsylvania State Senate, 1842; engaged, agricultural pursuits 1843-1853; died, October 13, 1853 (aged 63, 3 days) New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; interment, Lancaster Cemetery, Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Early Career:

Lieutenant, Pennsylvania Militia, War of 1812.

Pennsylvania Politics:

Lancaster County Justice of the Peace, 1823-1828.

Unsuccessful Congressional Campaign, Anti-Masonic Convention, 1828, James Buchanan.

Elected, Secretary, State Caucus, Anti-Masonic Convention, 1828.

Delegate, Pennsylvania State Constitutional Convention, 1837-1838.

Anti-Mason, Pennsylvania State Senate, 6th District, 1841-1843; elected, Speaker Pennsylvania State Senate, 35th ballot, July 26, 1842; advocated the only legislative pay decrease in upper house history, following the state’s dramatically declining economy in the early 1840s. Chair, Agriculture and Manufacturing Committee.

Continued Government Service/National Politics:

Elected, Anti-Masonic, United States House of Representatives, Twenty-second, Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses, 1831-1837.


A member of the notable Hiester-Muhlenberg-Clymer-Ellmaker political families.

Uncle of Hiester Clymer, Pennsylvania State Senate Berks County 1860-1866; United States Congressman, 1873-1881.

Father of Congressman Isaac Ellmaker Hiester, Thirty-third Congress, 1853-1855.

Nephew of Congressman, John Hiester, Republican, Tenth Congress, 1807-1809.

Nephew and renowned Revolutionary War officer Daniel Hiester, served as a member of the first six United States Congresses, representing Pennsylvania and Maryland.


Biographical Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania, ed. Charles Robson (Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Co., 1894), 333


Congressional Biography

After 3 session(s) serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, William Hiester  went on to serve in congress